Naked ladies play Shakespeare's Tempest in Central Park

Written by
David Cote
The Tempest
Photograph: Joan MarcusThe Tempest

Turns out that Shakespeare in the Park’s Taming of the Shrew is not the summer’s only all-female take on the Bard in Central Park. Co-directors Alice Mottola and Pitr Strait have announced plans for another estrogen-heavy production of Shakespeare's late romance, The Tempest.

This staging will be quite different from the one you’ll see at the Delacorte Theater: Some performers will be nude. Since this Tempest is co-produced with the Outdoor Co-ed Topless Pulp Fiction Appreciation Society, there will be “a selective use of nudity” to emphasize the play’s contrasting themes of corrupting civilization and magical, liberating nature. The website explains that the show is “a celebration of body freedom.” So if anyone asks, that’s what you tell ’em. Not that there’s anything wrong with looking at fellow New Yorkers in their birthday suits. Going about starkers is all the rage these days, what with the Naked Bike Ride, nonstop burlesque shows and other naked and semi-attired traditions. Only this time, you get gorgeous soaring verse along with, er, visual stimuli. (Note: We couldn't get photos of the production so above we used last summer's Shakespeare in the Park Tempest. Just imagine Sam Waterston buck nekkid and you'll get the idea.)

The outdoor action takes place May 19 at 5:30pm and May 20 at 2pm near Summit Rock. Best of all, it’s free! Details and tickets here.

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